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Backpack Safety Vest

Discussion in 'What equipment should you use and take' started by BROWNCOUNTYBOB, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I read one website that listed the number of pilgrims that pass away during their camino. Some of these are heart related, a few due to falls or hyperthermia, and several each year due to pilgrims being run over by vehicles. During our last camino, my wife and I were approaching a town as we approached a curve in the road. Suddenly, a young driver appeared out of nowhere driving very fast, and I jumped to the side of the road - screaming at the driver and waving my trekking poles at him. For our camino this fall, we purchased small safety lights which we can clip onto our backpack. I am wondering whether we can purchase a reflective safety vest that can fit over our backpacks which would allow the safety vests to be seen from the front and the back. Thanks for any advice / comments. Bob
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Bob - As a cyclist, being seen and safety are prime concerns. I rarely bike without wearing a high-viz jersey. I also have a flashing light on the back of my seat. Although the jersey will not help the backpack issue and I've not seen any vest that would fit over a pack, there are LED lights that are designed to clip onto packs. You will find a number of them listed on Amazon.com. Two other thoughts would be to outline your pack with bright reflective tape or find a high-viz backpack cover to use at times when you are on roads.
     
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  3. Magwood

    Magwood Super Moderator

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    I have a very hi-viz back pack cover (home made) that I can use when the conditions warrant it. I have also applied high-viz tape to my backpack and hiking poles. But there are times when, no matter what precautions you take, you can still feel very vulnerable.

    I attach a couple of images of above-mentioned items and if you are interested in my explanation of when I take most care, here is an excerpt from my blog post from a particularly trying day on my camino between the Norte and the Ingles...

    ...So I made the decision to take the through road AC-556 which runs from Barqueiro to Ferrol. It is a fast road, although it being a Sunday there was a lot less traffic than normal and almost no lorries. But it was busy enough and the cars that passed did so at great speed.

    I spend a great deal of time when walking on a road crossing from one side to the other. It is common sense, and I think the law in Spain, to walk on the left, ie facing the oncoming traffic. But I have observed enough cars whizzing by to know that there are times when it is by far safer to walk on the right. Mainly when there is an approaching left bend, ie right bend for the car coming towards me. Firstly, the driver will have no knowledge that I am walking at the side of the road around the blind bend. Secondly, cars driving at speed take a right hand bend very tightly, often encroaching deep into the shoulder. I have witnessed it time and again and there is no way I want to be facing oncoming traffic under these conditions.

    There was a wide enough shoulder on both sides of the AC-556 and whilst it was very bendy I spent most of my time walking on the right. As an added precaution I also used my very HiViz pack cover so that (hopefully) I couldn’t be missed. Once the road straightened I reverted to walking on the left...
    IMG_3040.JPG

    IMG_2948.JPG


     
  4. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for both your comments. Magwood - you captured what we experienced during our last camino. Sometimes it's safer to walk with the flow of traffic and always be careful when coming up to bends in the roads. Fortunately on most roads we could hear a car approaching us (from ahead or behind) and many times we stepped off the shoulder a few feet until the vehicle passed. I just ordered a roll of bright safety tape (like on Magwood's backpack) and will use for our next Camino - along with the LED blinking lights we already have. Bob
     
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  5. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Where I grew up, I lived on the side of a hill where the road wound all over the place, the only safe side to walk on was the side where we could jump down the bank when a car got too close .
     
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  6. Magwood

    Magwood Super Moderator

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    I should have said in my post above...you can buy a hi-viz safety vest that you could adapt for your pack in any petrol station. It is obligatory for all cars to carry these items so they are readily available.
     
  7. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Here I the US Highway construction crews have to wear safety vests too. However some of the crew members are quite large in diameter and thus many of the vests are large too. They may be large enough to go around a pack, and connect in the front.
     
  8. oldman

    oldman Oldman Donating Member

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    Magwood I totally agree with you, when there is no footpath , I never walk on the inside of a bend , no matter what country I am in or what the road traffic laws say.
    If you put this in the search panel on EBAY, I am sure it would not be too difficult to attach to a backpack giving front and back reflection.
    HARP-High-Visibility-Adjustable-Reflective-Neon-Yellow-Vest + arm band
    Buen Camino.
    Oldman
     
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